Dangerous To Love
by Victoria Dark, historical (2006)
Cerridwen Press, $6.49, ISBN 1-4199-0553-8
Victoria Dark, whose previous historical romance novels were published with Zebra, Leisure (as Tori Light), and New Concepts Publishing (as Victoria Darkwood), returns from a hiatus with Dangerous To Love. Unfortunately, after reading this book I believe that perhaps I may need to go on a hiatus myself from books of this sort.
In this Regency era historical, our French Arielle Benoit decides that the ridiculously named Fox Grandquest, an Earl who is also part Native American Earl and an English spy in that war against Napoleon Bonaparte, is the man responsible for the death of her darling cousin so she's going to kill him. So what Ari does is to head over to Dartmouth Harbor, spots him on his ship Midnight Dancer, takes out her gun, goes on a long expositional rant usually reserved for cackling villains in an Amanda Quick historical romance, shoots herself in the forehead by accident, and collapses. How do they say "Bravo!" in French again? Fox takes her in, wondering why she's out to kill him, and because she's French, he decides that she could be a spy out to kill him. Hmmph, and here I am thinking that it should be obvious to all that Ari clearly an incompetent nutcase who is a menace to her own self.
Ari decides to pretend to have amnesia - very badly, if I may add - as those two get involved in an adventure involving French spies, smuggling in a countryside, and plenty of "Americans are so noble and righteous compared to those elitist British scums" soapbox moments. Dangerous To Love has every other historical romance cliché you can think of desperately crammed in this story that it has everything and maybe the kitchen sink as well. Throughout it all, there are secondary characters who are adamant that the main characters are made for each other even when those characters have displaying as much sexual chemistry as that found in a typical Road Runner cartoon. The main characters on the other insist on not seeing the obvious and persisting in keeping all kinds of laughably wrong assumptions about the other person. Oh, and Ari just has to be that oh-so-obnoxious heroine who can't do anything right to save her life but everyone adores her because she's so cute when she's making a big blunder of things.
I've had as much fun reading about stupid Ari and dim-witted Fox as much as I do playing grab-a-tail with a skunk. Dangerous To Love is indeed dangerous - to my blood pressure if nothing else.
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